Romans 16; 2 Samuel 1; Psalm 72
Division: it’s not just for math anymore. Seriously, don’t you hate it when people like me try to be cute with a serious topic? We are divided in our world today in many different ways. We are divided politically. We are divided ethnically. We are divided ideologically. Divisive words are so easy to speak today; healing words are not. We live in a world that needs more healing and unifying instead of more dividing. The divisions still continue.
One of the greatest sources of division really ought to be our greatest source of unity: our relationship with Christ. The message of the forgiveness offered to all people through Jesus Christ ought to bring peace, harmony and unity. If only we could be like the first century church there. Oh, wait. Paul had to warn the first century church about this very issue: “I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.” Why is it that Christians spend so much time arguing among themselves? (And I speak as an offender here.) Why is it that we (I) am more concerned about being “right” than in being obedient? C.S. Lewis had some great words here: “In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, charity.” We, as followers of Christ; the One crucified to pay the penalty for our sins; the Risen One who has power over death; must focus on our main message of sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and stop debating over issues that distract us from that main message.
One way to do that is to remember these words of Paul as he wrote to Timothy: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” If I am chief of sinners I may not always understand the finer points of God’s Word perfectly. One thing I can understand, though, is that Jesus came into this world to save sinners and God uses people like me sharing the good news of Jesus to save sinners. We may come to God only through Jesus Christ; there is no other way. Since that is true, I need to be about sharing that good news. That will bring about multiplication of the faith and not division.